Yearly Archive: 2015

Dec

23

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To our readers: it’s been a minute since the academic year began, but you have finally made it to the (halfway) finish. Congratulations! I thank you for standing by us this semester. Though these past four months have been seemingly mild, I appreciate your loyal readership nonetheless.

I would also like to take this opportunity to address a notable change moving forward. Bwog has decided that it is in our best interest to sever all ties with the Columbia University (No Budget) Sketch Show. We commend all the hard work Anna and Michael have put into CUSS (and the former Bwog Video), but believe it is in both our best interests to go on as separate entities. We look forward to all CUSS has to offer in the new year.

Take this time to recuperate after a taxing semester — you deserve it. Whether that be milling around Medford, diving through Dover (with your woes), or oxidizing in Omaha, enjoy this special time with your family, do something you love, and be well. And of course, feel free to tip any of your thoughts over the next four weeks to tips@bwog.com.

See you in 2016.

Mason Amelotte, Editor-in-Chief

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Dec

23

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Like most schools, Columbia has a somewhat propagandist social media presence (like, where do they find all those pictures of smiling students?). Yesterday, to that end, Columbia’s Facebook page posted a “reminder of what a winter day should look like on campus”– you mean, because it’s so warm? Or because snow in NYC seems to immediately turn to grey sludge?

Alums responded to the “reminder”, reminiscing about the days when people would go sledding down Low Steps…on food trays from John Jay? And they didn’t get fined by Public Safety (one fee for sledding down the steps, and another for vandalizing school property)? We at Bwog take this to be further proof that the War on Fun is real, and that Columbia is trying to rewrite its historically more fun past.

Dec

23

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Champagne Bwoggers

Champagne Bwoggers

As our semester draws to a close, we (as most Columbia students tend to do) are already looking to the new year. As you make your way home for the holidays, remember to take time this vacation to relax and realign (or something…do we sound like a Soul Cycle instructor?). Here’s a list of our hopes and goals for 2016.

Class (or something):

  • Finish the West Wing
  • Apply myself more than I already do in Mowsh Bio
  • Read everything
  • Wake up before 11 every day
  • Study in Butler less
  • Watch the X-Files
  • Fulfill my math requirement
  • Go to discussion sections
  • Improve my Spanish
  • Stop using social media
  • Find my secret study space
  • Do well in AP and Fundamentals
  • Stop fantasizing about my bed, sleeping, or being in bed
  • Learn a new talent (something along the lines of the pigeon man)

Quality of Life:

  • Go to Diana breakfast more often
  • Make use of the $500 gym membership I purchased this summer OR drop the membership and just go to Dodge more often
  • Be actually vegan
  • Charge my phone
  • Call my mom more
  • Pet more dogs
  • Find ways to go to Soul Cycle for free
  • Get a mug from Hungarian for home use
  • Stretch
  • Learn how to use my Aeropress properly
  • Keep doing yoga even now that it’s not mandatory
  • Lose 10 lbs
  • Eat in the dining halls more often
  • Continue to not be a Butler smoker
  • Wash my clothes more
  • Wear my seatbelt when I take taxis

On partying and real life after the jump…

Dec

23

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It’s (technically) the last day of finals, but we’re hoping your professors moved your finals that were supposed to be today to some time last week. Most of Bwog is home by now, and we’re using this winter vacation to relax, recharge, and return to school feeling like we’re “on a new level” (or something).

Bwogline: If you haven’t already heard, a study reports that high levels of lead have been found in children’s blood in Flint, Michigan due to lead-tainted drinking water. (CBS News)

Study Tip: Have you seen all those snap stories of the sunrise from the Butler roof and been jealous? (Don’t be–we really believe all-nighters to be unnecessary). Take a much-needed study break, though, by visiting one of the roofs on campus, such as that of Butler, Havemeyer, or Mudd (but don’t get caught!).

Procrastinate: Still have to finish that final paper? At least pretend that you’re doing work with this game that is supposed to look like a Word document.

Dec

22

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Philip-Protter-compressor

But did he prove any of postmodern chemistry?

The outpouring of actual wisdom continues with Statistics professor Phillip Protter, who talks surprisingly little about statistics and surprisingly a lot about football and coffee houses.

Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: I click to save the world, therefore I am.

Claim to fame: I took second in the mile relay for the state of California my junior year of high school; not much has happened since then.

What’s your most valuable or unexpected college experience? I disproved most of modern chemistry in my chem labs, and nobody cared.

Back in my day… Postcard postage was 3 cents and a college friend spent $477 for one telephone call to his girlfriend in Europe (in today’s dollars).

But where did he get that $477?

Dec

22

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This picture is a highly inaccurate representation of Bwog Poetry. Enjoy.

Now seems like a pretty good time to reflect upon the past year, so we used a website called Poetweet to turn some of our tweets from this year into poetry. Poetweet kindly produced a sonnet, a rondel, and an indriso, and even titled the poems for us. Some of the stanzas are quite apt, and we were even able to forget for a moment that we’re still on this fucking campus. 

Out more – A Sonnet
by Bwog

On weekends without using roofies
Have chosen to sleep on the floor.
We’ve already made enemies
Safety officer blocking the door

Set your vibrators to phone!
Read this review instead!
Not as sexy as our concocted one.
A bottle over someone else’s head?

Why we’re going to Maine -@cudems
From yours truly, your professors.
Speech and Press (or so it seems)

Live-blogging the Spec elections
“Pumped” for those final finals!
Workers in sweatshop conditions.

This worked out surprisingly well

Dec

22

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Is that you, Love Interest in Heteronormative Sci-Fi Romantic Thriller?

Per usual, science is terrifying and we’re all going to die. However, supposedly we’ll find love in the middle of [instert crisis here]? It’s a little unclear. Courtesy of the optimistic(?) Phoebe Newton, this edition of Bunsen Bwog is the apocalyptic version of spending an hour on WebMD (only to discover that you are for sure dying).

Is the science behind the (consumerist) holiday season really a scam? A recent study by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology has uncovered that happiness as a result of a material world is a scientific fact. Note that “material purchases, from sweaters to skateboards, provide more frequent happiness over time.” Additional support for this claim comes from a series of journals by consumers, who experienced “repeated doses of happiness over time in the weeks after [purchases] are bought.” It’s official, your holiday shopping is, at last, validated.

As experienced on Columbia’s Campus, the weather has recently been, well, strange. Unfortunately for this holiday season, AccuWeather reports that this upcoming Christmas Eve is predicted to be one of the warmest in history, specifically up and down the entire Eastern Seaboard. This could prove a threat for the various mythical figureheads of this Holiday season, especially a certain man in a red velvet suit. Don’t make a Facebook event for a snowy “winter” break just yet, because you might be having a backyard barbecue instead. Next step: Apocalypse.

Speaking of Apocalypse, “Love in the time of Ebola: Study reveals factors bolstering altruism in the face of risk” outlines a social experiment involving people’s reaction to various crises. The Society for Risk Analysis discusses “how altruistic behavioral intentions related to the Ebola outbreak were deeply rooted in cultural values and worldviews and emotions, yet also were influenced by the ways in which people dealt with factual risk information related to the outbreak.” Thanks to science, we now officially know that in the face of imminent demise (medical or environmental), your life could actually turn out like a sci-fi romantic thriller.

In other exciting news, General Relativity has been caught in action around a black hole. In a recent Science News article, Andrew Grant reports that Physicists have “detected the signature of a black hole twisting the fabric of spacetime around it,” offering the most supported evidence of this relativity-driven twisting effect (frame dragging). This latest galactic revelation comes just in time for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Mazel Tov to Albert Einstein and his Theory of Relativity for this discovery, and may the Force be with you.

Generic Space Alien Love Action movie via Shutterstock

Dec

22

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An accurate rendering of the inside of our brains during finals

An accurate rendering of the inside of our brains during finals

Finals are almost over. Your ability to sit in a library for hours on end is running low. You’re starting to wonder if this is really your life, or some kind of hellish vision that your brain concocted during your freshman year of high school and has been punishing you with ever since. But don’t despair – as much as life right now might seem terrible, the end is in sight. Don’t resort to skipping town just yet.

Bwogline: New York City has recently passed new guidelines against gender-identity discrimination, including general bans on discrimination in housing and hiring as well as more specific rules about dress codes, bathrooms, and pronoun use. For NYC’s 25,000 trans and gender-nonconforming residents, this news might seem almost too good to be true – our city is really making a big step forward. (Miami Herald)

Study tip: Study in intervals – plan out not just when you’ll take breaks, but how much you’ll achieve in between those breaks. That way, your breaks will feel more deserved. And when you do break, consider doing something creative, like doodling, making origami out of your notes, or writing a haiku about what you’ll do once you get out of your final. Taking a creative break will help you return to your work with renewed focus.

Procrastinate: Remember those fun “educational” online games you used to play as a kid before you discovered social media? Well, they’re still around, and they’re still a great way to distract yourself from your responsibilities. Bwog recommends the Funbrain Arcade – in one of the games, you can shoot penguins out of the sky with snowballs. What could be more satisfying than that?

Music: Nothing gets us fired up like Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody. It’s the classic inspirational song, complete with raging guitar melodies and lyrics about murder. Just be careful that you don’t start singing along passionately in the middle of Butler. (And then, maybe listen to We Will Rock You or Another One Bites the Dust.)

Overheard: “I’m wearing a low cut shirt, so if the final doesn’t work out, maybe I can fuck my professor instead.”

Quickly advancing doom via Shutterstock; Overheard via Overheard @ Barnard

Dec

21

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Push to flush ... our finals? We wish.

Push to flush … our finals? We wish.

Finals are a trying time – not only for our minds, but also for our hearts, bodies, and souls. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still have fun on the weekend … right? We’re stressed and we’re distressed, but we’re hanging on. At least, we’d like to think we are. And, as always, if you’d like to contribute to our notes from the field, send in your stories to tips@bwog.com

We’re doing okay, really:

  • Went to a zine fair with my friend in top floor of New Museum and saw Mac DeMarco and Dev Hynes. Mac went onto the balcony to smoke a cig so we did too. I had lied about my age to get a free under-18 ticket (instead of paying $10) by showing them an email my high school had sent me this fall about homecoming.
  • Went on a tinder date to Hungarian Pastry, against Bwog rules
  • Finished my final paper in two sessions fueled by ~study aids~.
  • Ex is in NYC but I’m not seeing him so I’m ~proud of myself~
  • Went to to soul cycle–wondered if I was feeling the same way my roommate feels when she goes to church
  • FINALLY got the case of sparkling ice drinks that I ordered
  • Went to insomnia at like 9pm on Friday night.
  • A friend who came home from Berkeley helped us smoke about an 1/8th on the roof
  • Had a babysitting gig where I held a 5-month old for three hours while constantly passing him off to twenty-somethings who oohed and ahhed over him. Did basically nothing, earned $120, and ate really good party food in the presence of an actual Christmas tree.
  • Finished my Russian final in less time than anyone else despite writing more on the essay part than everyone else.
  • Learned that people thought I disappeared during the LitHum final because I finished and turned it in so quickly.
  • Blasted music in Butler after Orgo Night because I was the only person in the room. Very cathartic experience.

Our sanity becomes more questionable after the break

Dec

21

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Where’s this colony of feral cats he speaks of?

With finals bearing down so heavily upon our backs, we could all use a little humor and a little wisdom. J.C. Salyer, term assistant professor in the anthropology department at Barnard, offers both. Also, cats.

Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: I reject the cynical econometrics of your neoliberal biopolitics and its implication that life is subject to appraisal and hierarchical valuation. Also, I feed a colony of feral cats.

Claim to fame: When I was one of the ACLU lawyers challenging the federal internet censorship law, the Child Online Protection Act, the New York Times did a story about the case along with our picture under the headline “Online smut law heads to court.” Also, I get a Christmas card from Barack Obama every year but I am not sure why.

But does he send a Christmas to Barack Obama?

Dec

21

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Finals is a time of searching frantically back through your notes, fervently hoping that something you scribbled down in a lecture two months ago will help you pass your exam tomorrow. Bwog has been doing the same thing, but unfortunately, instead of stumbling upon useful insights, we only found strange doodles and barely-decipherable comments. Here, we share a few of our favorites.

Are you sure they didn't die of exposure to your final exam?

Are you sure they didn’t die of exposure to your final exam?

The finals panic continues after the break

Dec

21

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(Almost) all the ingredients shown here

Back in October, three Baker Bwoggers made “special” brownies – special in the sense that they contained pretzels and caramel. Two months later, after a semester at college and in the midst of finals, other Bwog staff writers decided it was high time to make some really special brownies. And by “really special,” we mean with oregano.

It’s a stressful time. Finals are upon us. Tensions are high. Fortunately, someone told us about the healing, stress-relieving powers of an herb called oregano. We took this info and ran with it, and thus our second round of special brownies was born.

Ingredients:

  • Brownie mix (we don’t make from scratch, but we do use Ghirardelli because we’re classy af)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 egg

Add oregano, and then what?

Dec

21

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The picture of perseverance

Bwog wants YOU to believe in yourself!

Yes, we know, it’s Monday. And not just any Monday – the Monday of finals week. To get through this trying time, you’re going to need courage, perseverance, and the kind of ridiculously positive attitude that will make all the cartoon villains resent you. Unfortunately, Bwog can’t give you an epic training montage, but we can at least provide a few tips.

Bwogline: The cast for “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child,” the sequel stage production opening in London next summer, now has three important members: Jamie Parker as Harry Potter, Paul Thornley as Ron Weasley, and Noma Dumezweni as Hermione Granger. Dumezweni, an actress of South African heritage, bears little resemblance to Emma Watson, but we’re certain she’ll kick ass as the brightest witch of her age anyway. (The Guardian)

Study tip: Every so often, get up! Stretch! Get your blood pumping! Shout a warcry! (Either out loud or in your head, depending on where you’re studying.) Pretend you’re about to go into battle, or that you just drank a triple espresso. Whatever works.

Procrastinate: If you like humor, art, or neither, you’ll probably enjoy officialunitedstates. Advertised as “the most official bad text posts from the USA,” this blog features opinions on everything, from trains to Hilary Clinton to the insects Mars does not have. Its moderator is truly a hero of our time.

Music: Your favorite movie’s soundtrack. Whether it’s Star Wars, Mulan, or Pride & Prejudice, listening to the music from your favorite movie while you work will cause you to visualize the scenes from that movie, which in turn will motivate you more than some arbitrary study playlist. (If your favorite movie’s soundtrack is not quite up to par, Bwog recommends the tracks of Pacific Rim, How to Train Your Dragonand Mad Max: Fury Road.)

Overheard: “I thought I heard the primal scream happening earlier, but turns out that was just in my head.”

The next savior of planet Earth via Shutterstock

Dec

20

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He probably wishes it were a little bit darker...

He probably wishes it were a little bit darker…

As finals season comes to a close, the fall term is wrapping up in typically horrifying fashion. For this semester’s final installment of Dark Night, Bwog is bringing you the good, the bad, and the ugly. But, as usual, mostly just the ugly.

Notes from the field of darkness:

  • “Sat next to a girl in East Asian this morning who slept for three hours and then promptly got up, gathered her belongings, and announced to me, ‘Okay, time to go back to bed.’ I guess she must have returned to her dorm at that point, but I’ll never know.”
  • “Saw a used pad on the floor of nuss laundry room.”
  • “Took my time shitting in butler just because I knew the line waiting for the bathroom was long as hell.”
  • “OD’d on caffeine and hit some rando sitting next to me because I couldn’t control my own arms.”
  • “Witnessed some prospie’s grandfather in Butler say to a sleeping kid, ‘Wake up! You should be reading,’ after knocking loudly on the table he was using as a pillow.”

And now, photographic evidence of the darkness that prevails.

Dec

20

img December 20, 20156:01 pmimg 2 Comments

Screen Shot 2015-12-20 at 4.07.40 PMThis article from the December issue of The Blue and White focuses on the experiences of international CU students and the trials and tribulations of finding (and keeping) work while in school.

Customs, But No Check
What the visa lottery means for international students at Columbia
by Julie Moon

A few weeks ago, Omar Abboud, SEAS ’16 and operations research major, got asked to interview for his dream job at a tech company in New York. Just three and a half hours after Abboud received the interview invitation, “I got an email from them being like, ’Sorry, but we changed our mind,’” he says. “Basically, see you later.” The company explained that they were not able to sponsor H1B, the work authorization visa that Abboud needed as a non-U.S. citizen. Abboud never got the chance to interview. This has happened before: upwards of 25 companies have explicitly told him that they could not hire him because he is not a U.S. citizen. Omar holds Canadian and Lebanese passports.

The problems don’t stop there

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